To Try or Not to Try

by | Jan 17, 2019 | 0 comments

‘Pause’, ‘find some quiet’ and ‘stop trying’ are all requests you may not hear very often unless of courses you choose to take Alexander Technique lessons.  Trying or rather not trying is the subject of this blog.  If you agree with commonly held wisdom you probably think trying hard is the way to get what you want.  But what if what you always get is not what you want?  Is it still worth continuing to try with all your might?  As I have said in earlier blog posts, if you get what you want from life great, keep doing what you always do.  But, if like many people, you suffer from pain, tension or stress maybe it is time to find a different way.

So often, in their early lessons, I see people get frustrated when their usual approach, i.e. trying hard to do what I ask of them, doesn’t work.  A famous quote from the founder of the Alexander Technique, Frederick Matthias Alexander, helps us to understand why trying is not the answer:

‘Trying is only emphasising what we already know.’

If you choose to come for Alexander Technique lessons it is likely you have a problem you want to resolve so emphasising what you already know is perhaps not the best approach.

So, What is the Answer?

Give up trying and be willing to experience something different instead.

Any time you find yourself trying hard, choose instead to create the space for something different to happen.  Here’s how:

  • Pause
  • Notice the contact of your feet with the floor
  • Take the time to become aware of your whole self and the space around you
  • And breathe.

The usual effort and strain that comes with trying hard can then be replaced by a sense of ease: your whole self becomes quieter and you become receptive to more creative solutions and ways of doing whatever it is that you have been trying to do.  Everything just gets easier.


Examples of some good times to experiment with letting go of your desire to try hard are:

  • Learning to play a musical instrument or a new piece of music
  • Decorating a special birthday cake
  • Writing a difficult report at work
  • Chopping veg (Yes, I know I always include this but it is such a good time to experiment with Alexander Technique principles)

Trying hard = Lots of effort and strain

Giving up trying = Everything just gets easier

Which will you choose?  To try or not to try?



If this post has sparked your curiosity and you are interested in finding out how the Alexander Technique can help you please email me at or call me on 07957 981240 get in touch using the contact icons

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